The only time you should be hard to read is during a poker game or boardroom negotiations. Your first date is not one of those times, and yet so many of us are hard to read.
Unless you’re specifically telling your date, “Hey, I like you!”, they are often left looking for subtle subconscious cues to tell them how you feel. You may not even realize it, but you could be giving all the wrong signs.
So the next time you’re on a date, and you want to make sure the other person knows you like them, avoid these subtle and subconscious mistakes.
Closed Body Language
You may think that first impressions are built off of the words you say, but at least 50% of initial connections are based off of your body language. So while your mind is telling you YES… your body, your body is telling them no.
Be sure to keep open body language. Face your date even if you are sitting next to each other at a bar, make sure your body is turned towards them. Keep your arms loose – don’t cross or fold them or hold them together for too long. Lean in towards your date when they speak to show just how much you’re listening to what they’re saying.
After body language, your tone of voice accounts for 30% of how your potential date relates to you. Adding peaks and valleys to the way you relate information makes you sound more interested in what they’re saying and in what you have to say.
This doesn’t mean to keep a high, energy-filled tone of voice throughout the date. It just means that adding variety to your tone of voice and even matching your date’s tone will make them feel more comfortable and make you more approachable.
Answering Questions Generally
Connections are made in the details. When you give brief or general answers to questions, you give off the impression that you are not interested. It’s not easy for everyone to share the details of their life, but it’s necessary when dating.
Run through answering common dating questions with friends, colleagues or in the mirror until you become more comfortable. Be prepared with stories to tell. Sharing takes practice, but it’s in the sharing that you’ll connect with others.
I know, I know. You’ve been told you have resting b!t@h face. You’ve accepted it into your life. Smiling isn’t really your thing. But hey, when you don’t smile, you give the impression that you’re not having a good time.
So smile. Make yourself uncomfortable by how much you are smiling. Smiling is inviting. If it’s not coming naturally to you, think about a joke that always makes you laugh no matter what — or that time you couldn’t stop laughing uncontrollably. Channel that energy into your date.
Using words like “have to”, “right now”, “never”, and “can’t” when it applies to circumstances in life and reaching your goal vs. being in a relationship convey that you’re not ready or open to a relationship.
You may not even realize you do this, but using those words may be sabotaging your dates.
Setting A Negative Tone
You’ve been at this dating thing for so long with no success that you come off as bitter, or you feel like you deserve more. Maybe you’re not as confident as you were when you started your search for love and in your recent encounters it shows in your tone.
Avoid self-loathing, or rehashing bad dates (also known as complaining) about your dating life with new people. Listen to what you say to your dates and what you’re saying to yourself. Scan for negativity and leave it at the door.
This article was originally published on eHarmony. Republished with permission.